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RLMT305 - Cost and Benefit Analysis of Reverse Logistics

Course Details

Course Code: RLMT305 Course ID: 4304 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course provides students with a systems-centric view to explore the financial management components needed to develop best practices in reverse logistics applications in manufacturing, retail and in the military. A systems view of total life cycle cost will be calculated and compared to the benefits or value added by incorporating a reverse logistics process to manufacturing and retail operations. Students will analyze a potential reverse logistics case study to determine the short and long term financial implications to the company and to the environment. The student will examine how to define the problem and the core assumptions that define the problem space. This course is intended for students and professionals working in an organization that uses or is considering using reverse logistics.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
06/28/22 - 12/02/22 12/05/22 - 01/29/23 Fall 2022 Session D 8 Week session
09/26/22 - 03/03/23 03/06/23 - 04/30/23 Winter 2023 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, students will fulfill the following Learning Objectives (LO):

• Discuss the differences between forward logistics and reverse logistics and how cost and benefit analysis is useful in these two processes.
• Outline the stages of cost and benefit analysis and discuss the importance of resource allocation in reverse logistics.
• Develop an understanding for measuring cost and benefits as well as non-market valuation of time.
• Discuss the different investment criteria and decisions needed to effectively select the appropriate processes for a reverse logistics program.
• Explain how cost and benefit analysis can be used to determine the need for a reverse logistics program and assess the value of a reverse logistics program through its various activities.
• Examine how timing and resource commitment impacts the success or failure of a reverse logistics program.
• Review the various applications of cost and benefit analysis.
• Apply the stages of cost and benefit analysis through demonstrating how these stages of the evaluative process can be used to implement a reverse logistics program in a retail, manufacturing, or military organization and discuss the financial and environmental impacts.

NameGrade %
Discussions 32.00 %
Week 1: What is Reverse Logistics and Forward Logistics? 4.00 %
Week 2: Principles of Cost-benefit Analysis 4.00 %
Week 3: Best Practices in Practice 4.00 %
Week 4: Limitations of Rules 4.00 %
Week 5: Case Study Discussions 4.00 %
Week 6: Secondary Markets 4.00 %
Week 7: Readings summary 4.00 %
Week 8: Final Research Paper 4.00 %
Paper Assignments 32.00 %
Assignment - Week #2: Paper 1 8.00 %
Assignment - Week #3: Paper 2 8.00 %
Assignment - Week #6: Paper 3 8.00 %
Assignment - Week #7: Paper 4 8.00 %
Term Project Outlines 12.00 %
Assignment - Week #3: Term Project Part 1 – Outline 4.00 %
Assignment - Week #4: Term Project Part 2 - Abstract and Detailed Outline 4.00 %
Assignment - Week #5: Term Project Part 3 - Referenced Outline 4.00 %
Term Project Paper 24.00 %
Assignment - Week #8: Term Project Paper 24.00 %

Required Readings – Articles can be found in the online Library

Breen, L. (2006). Give me back my empties or else! A preliminary analysis of customer compliance in reverse logistics practices (UK). Management Research Review, 29(9), 532-532-551. doi:10.1108/01409170610708989

Daugherty, P. J., Autry, C. W., & Ellinger, A. E. (2001). Reverse logistics: The relationship between resource commitment and program performance. Journal of Business Logistics, 22(1), 107-107-124.

Kulp, S.K., Lee, H. L., & Ofek, E. (2004). Manufacturer benefits from information integration with retail customers. Management Science, 50(4), 431-431-444.

Meyer, H. (1999). Many happy returns. The Journal of Business Strategy, 20(4), 27-27-31.

Mollenkopf, D. A., & Closs, D. J. (2005). The hidden value in REVERSE LOGISTICS. Supply Chain Management Review, 9(5), 34-34-36,38-40,42-43.

Richey, R. G., Daugherty, P. J., Genchev, S. E., & Autry, C. W. (2004). Reverse logistics: The impact of timing and resources. Journal of Business Logistics, 25(2), 229-229-250.

Richey, R. G., Tokman, M., Wright, R. E., & Harvey, M. G. (2005). Monitoring reverse logistics programs: A roadmap to sustainable development in emerging markets. Multinational Business Review, 13(3), 41-41-65.

Rogers, D.S. & Tibben-Lembke, R.S. (1998). Going backwards: Reverse logistics trends and practices. Reverse Logistics Executive Council. (Free book can be located online at

Rogers, D. S., Rogers, Z. S., & Lembke, R. (2010). Creating value through product stewardship and take-back.Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 1(2), 133-133-160. doi:10.1108/20408021011089211

Stock, J. R. (2001). The 7 deadly sins of reverse logistics. Material Handling & Logistics, 56(3), MHS5-MHS5-MHS11.

Tibben-Lembke, R., & Rogers, D. S. (2002). Differences between forward and reverse logistics in a retail environment. Supply Chain Management, 7(5), 271-271-282.

Additional Resources:

In the Resources folder there are weekly videos, assignment rubrics, articles and reports, TurnItIn instructions, and up to date APA handouts.


In addition to the required course texts the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website URL/Address

The OWL at Purdue

APA Style Homepage

Reverse Logistics Association

Reverse Logistics Executive Council

Supply Chain Brain

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.